Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fever Sweats & Spice Girls

I am writing to you, at 5am, laying in my squeaky bed, covered in sweat. Yes, that's right. I have been sick/planning an Alice in Wonderland tea party/going back to regular classes, hence my lack of posting in the past while. However, I do believe this whole running-a-fever-all-night-and-having-to-go-to-class-in-three-hours-or-I-will-get-kicked-out-of-my-program is a divine intervention of some sort, in order to get me to post. So, here I am.

Today I'm going to talk to you about the obsession of mine that towers over all the other obsessions. As you've probably noticed, I do indeed get obsessed with things: Orlando Bloom, David Bowie, transvestite musicals, goats, etc. I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason why people get obsessed with things (I did learn about it in psych class, but brushed it off, of course!) That aside, when I was 9, the one thing that ruled my life, more than Pokemon cards or my parents, was SPICE GIRLS. Oh boring, you might think. Lots of girls (and some boys) were obsessed with them. BIG deal.

That's where you're wrong. You see, although all my friends/half the world went nuts for the Spice Girls, you could say that I easily could have been president of their fan club. Easily. I knew EVERYTHING about them. This came from Internet suddenly taking a huge role in our lives in the mid-90s, which accounted for my knowing how to use it better than my parents. Thanks for that, Spice Girls. I would research facts about them and quiz my friends relentlessly at school. I would also print off colour pictures of them (a pretty novel thing at the time too) and add them + my pages of Spice Girls facts to my giant Spice Girls binder. I would then bring this majestic binder to the playground, boss my friends around, and if they were particularly worthy, I would allow them to choose 1 coloured Spice Girls picture to keep. Crazy, I know.

Remember all the Spice Girls merchandise? Lollipops, stickerbooks, t-shirts, pencils, etc.? I had it all. I also had a Spice Girls birthday cake, which was pretty cool at the time too. Every inch of my walls in my bedroom were covered in Spice Girls -- Baby Spice was my favourite, followed by Ginger Spice. Obviously. Nobody liked Sporty Spice (because she had no boobs and talked with an accent that nobody could understand), Posh Spice (because she looked like a bitch), or Scary Spice (because she was hyper and made devil horns out of her hair). We had a Spice Girls impersonation group come to my small city one year, and I can remember feeling cheated, storming off half-way through, yelling, "Impostors! Baby Spice is soooo not taller than Sporty Spice!" I can still fondly remember the nights where my friend and I would sit in my parents bedroom with our handmade Spice Girls fan signs (computer paper taped to rulers), screaming while watching "Spice Girls: Live in Istanbul." We would sit on my parents' bed with our fan signs and pretend that we were actually in the audience. Adorable/nuts, eh?

Looking back, perhaps the most embarrassing event of the Spice Girls obsession was my school's spaghetti dinner. This happened once a year and the school's rec. centre, where families were invited to an all-you-can-eat dinner of questionable meatballs and entertainment. That's right, it was the students' job to entertain the parents onstage, while they were eating their dinner. To me, this translated to "moment where I can prove to the world how much of a Spice Girls fan I really am and get my big break." Although I couldn't be Baby Spice like I wanted (the head snob of our clique was awarded that title, I'm afraid), I got to be Ginger Spice, my second choice. I was so excited for this event -- I made my friends rehearse the dance moves to "Wannabe" relentlessly during recess. And I had gone over my solo lines of "Get your act together we could be just fine" and "If you really bug me then I'll say goodbye" complete with appropriate head turning and hand-waving many, many times.

Finally the big night had arrived. I had a sparkly shirt on, a la Ginger Spice style. After weeks of singing the song in my sleep, I was finally ready. While parents stuffed their faces with meatballs, my friends and I performed. But it was I who really performed. While my friends hardly danced to the song, I was the one who was totally into it. I had every dance move down perfectly; every "Zig-A-Zag Ah" leg crossing moment done to perfection. I'm sure my other friends just had stage fright. And after we finished, I, beaming, approached my Grade 5 crush, and asked, "How did I look?" and he said, "Giddy." I didn't know what that meant at the time, but I took it to mean, "Extremely Spice-Girls-like and awesome." I approached my parents, who with blank looks on their faces, grabbed their coats and whisked me away abruptly. It's only because they didn't want the other kids to hound me for autographs, I'm sure.

Shortly after, the Spice Girls broke up, which was a very sad day indeed. I remember sitting in my room, staring at the pictures of Gerry on the wall, wondering "Why could you do such a thing? Why?!?" My dad had just sat me down, and quite somberly explained that she had left the band. It was the end of my world as I knew it. The next day at school, all my friends immediately thought the Spice Girls were uncool. It was amazing, one day they were the centre of the universe, the next day they became as uncool as Aaron Carter. I still secretly went on loving the Spice Girls, however. I made a mix CD -- this was when Napster was in its prime -- that included both "Holler" and "Goodbye" by the four remaining Spice Girls. The head snob of our clique listened to the CD one day in class -- I forgot that it included those 2 songs -- and she exclaimed, "Spice Girls?!? Ewww! They are so totally uncool. Are you telling me that you still like them?" I responded with, "Oh, definitely no. My sister made me put them on the CD. She's soooooo weird." Good one, I know.

To this day, I'm still sad that they've broken up. Sure, they had a reunion tour that I would have gladly sold my limbs to attend (apparently selling body parts is against the law. Who knew?) Sure, most of them have babies and dress like moms, minus Victoria Beckham who dresses like streetwalker Barbie. Sure, none of them have done anything substantial since...Unless you count Mel C. who had some hits in the UK or something. Whatever. I still love them. When a Spice Girls song comes on, even an obscure one, I still know ALL the lyrics. It's very strange -- I have few memories of my childhood, and I have difficulty remembering what I had for breakfast, but I can sing the lyrics to any Spice Girls song. And as much as this is an oxymoron, one that feminists probably cringe at when they hear it coming from the Spice Girls' mouths, I must say: "Girl Power. Girl Power to all, and to all a goodnight."


  1. I've got news for you, they ALL have babies now!!

    I remember being very puzzled when I saw all the Spice Girl pictures on your wall. I couldn't understand the obsession. Then again, I didn't understand your love of Pokemon and Barbies either...

  2. omg! zig a zig AAAAAh!!! :D
    you probably already know this, but streetwalker barbie is preggers as we speak!
    hope you feel better asap!

  3. wasn't one of the girls on DWTS? and did well too

  4. Mel C did have a hit in the UK. It's on my iPod. But it doesn't compare.

    I did performed as a Spice Girl once. BAM Spice Girls and tranvestism in one fell swoop. Now all I need is a goat.